Help with trip plans - 8 days in Switzerland

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2 posts
new member
Feb 21, 2018 - 12:46 PM

Hi we are a group of 8 planning an 8 day trip to Switzerland. Our itinerary must start from Geneva and we will be flying out of Zurich. We have booked hotels for 4 nights in Interlaken (giving us 3 full days and 2 half days) and 3 nights in Lucerne (giving us 2 full days and 1 half day). We intend to take day trips to Bern, Jungfrau and Zermatt on the 3 full days from Interlaken. And from Lucerne, we plan to go for a day to Rhine Falls and Schaffhausen and another day to Zurich unless it is recommended to go elsewhere than to a city. I am unable to find out which trains, what are the timings, whether all rail companies are covered by the Swiss Travel Pass, whether the above day trips are included in the pass or do I buy additional tickets for those and if so, should I do it in advance? Also, whether the itinerary overall is acceptable.

5675 posts
Feb 21, 2018 - 1:52 PM in reply to radhiajoy

Hi Radhiajoy -

Welcome to My Swiss Alps. It's nice to have that much time in Switzerland.

Because of the intraction between the seasons, weather and altitude, it is important to know when you are traveling.

It is likely thatthe itinerray could be improved, even without a change in reservations... TYou have picked two nice places to saty. More about that later.

For a start, these links will help you with your travel scheduling, and with the travelpass information:

Check out the sub-links on this page, for a start:

For travel planning, a map and the SBB time table are the essentials;

Time table: metable

Please make sure to study the instructions.


Zoom in to zoom level 32 ( as noted in the URL) and the train tracks become clearly visible.

Open the menu under "Points of Interest" and click on Traffic.

Mouse over a station icon, and the transport services for that station stop are listed. Right click for an abbreviated near term schedule.

Rail Passes: issrailpasses

Every one has there own preferences, so the choice of an itinerary is a personal matter, dependent time of year and on your interests...sightseeing, walking or hiking, museums, etc.

Off hand, I'd spend more time in the Jungfrau region, go to Bern from Luzern, add the time to the region around Luzern, spend less time in Zürich, and skip the Rheinfall, unless you have never seen waterfall before. ;-)

You may search this site for each of those place names and learn a lot.

For a start on the regions and cities and towns, look here: eretogo


10496 posts
top member
Feb 21, 2018 - 4:21 PM in reply to radhiajoy

Hi radhiajoy,

I'd suggest skipping Zurich and the Rheinfall as well. Lots to see and do around Lucerne!

Also, yes go to Bern from Lucerne if you do go there. Zermatt from Interlaken is a fairly long trip on the train so just be prepared for that. The timetable Slowpoke linked for you will give you all the needed details.

2 posts
new member
Feb 22, 2018 - 10:34 AM

Dear Slowpoke / Lucas,

Thanks for your responses. We plan to commence our trip from Geneva on 29th March and completing it to get out of Zurich on 5th April, with the first 4 days in Interlaken and next 3 days in Lucerne, as mentioned. We actually arrive on 28th but spend the night in Yverdon with a family friend and then set out from Yverdon to Geneva on 29th morning and off to Interlaken by an evening train. We were hoping to do Lake geneva on 29th during the day before catching the train to Interlaken in the evening - any thoughts on that?

We had also been advised not to consider Zurich and that Lucerne has much to do in and around the place. I will take your view into consideration for Rheinfall - thanks for that. Based on what you both have said, it seems I should do Bern from Lucerne in place of Zurich and then spend the other 2 1/2 days exploring the local vicinity of Lucerne unless you recommend another day trip from Lucerne.

While in Interlaken, other than doing day trips to Zermatt and Jungfrau do you suggest any other "must do" trips since we do have 3 full days there. I was a bit confused in the timetable - there are quite a few connections and I am not sure if all these connections are covered by the Swiss pass.

Also, not able to understand the difference between IC and IR and if i have a choice of both which to opt for. Further, there are connections with 1, 2 or 3 changes and that also confuses me - should I take the train with the least number of changes which sounds logical or should I do more and get off at the changes and explore locally? Also, in the timetable there is a column related to "capacity" - what does this mean?

We are 6 adults and 2 children (12 & 14 yrs) and what implication does the capacity have on that connection? finally, we are not sure whether the Swiss pass covers only our main routing which is Geneva to Interlaken to Lucerne to Zurich or does it also cover the day trips we are planning from Interlaken and Lucerne?

My apologies for the thousand questions but as you can see from the thread subject..... am highly confused!!!

Last modified on Feb 22, 2018 - 5:54 PM by Lucas
10496 posts
top member
Feb 22, 2018 - 5:59 PM in reply to radhiajoy

Hi radhiajoy,

Most trips you'll do in Switzerland are covered the by Swiss Travel Pass. Some mountain trips are an exception - offering a discount usually but not full coverage. For a list of attractions and a PDF map of the routes covered by the Swiss travel Pass click here.

The type of train on the route doesn't matter - only the route itself matters. IC = Inter City and IR = Inter Regional. IC trains usually stop less frequently and therefore make the same trip a little faster than an IR train

I would typically choose the train schedule with the fewest changes yes. If you want to hop off at a town somewhere along the way and explore you certainly can - the beauty of the Swiss Travel Pass. :)

Column capacity shows how busy Swiss railways thinks the train might be: 1 person = quiet; 2 people moderately busy; 3 red people = very busy and possibly standing room only).

I hope that helps answer your questions! :)

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